Russian-language version of Hogwarts Legacy literally erases lesbians
LGBTQ+ dialogue appears to have been removed from the Russian-language version of controversial video game Hogwarts Legacy.
The Harry Potter-universe game was released on PS5, Windows and Xbox X/S on Friday (10 February) and stoked huge debate in the gaming community over its ties to JK Rowling, amid her continued divisive views on trans rights.
In the original version of the role-playing game, the character of Nora Treadwell refers to the witch Priya Treadwell as “my wife”.
However, in the game’s Russian subtitles the word wife appears to have been replaced with “friend”.
It is unclear if the changed word is due to an incorrect translation or because of Russia’s ban on LGBTQ+ “propaganda” – as the game is not expected to hit the Russian market due to the war in Ukraine.
Treadwell is not the only LGBTQ+ character in Hogwarts Legacy, trans witch Sirona Ryan appears as a barkeeper for the local tavern The Three Broomsticks and serves as a sympathetic ear for the game’s lead character.
Gamers, however, were not pleased by the way in which a trans character was included in the game.
They told PinkNews Sirona Ryan feels “insincere” and to “shut trans people up” while others complained about the name of the character containing the honorific “sir,” – similar to various other names within the Harry Potter universe which have been deemed offensive, such as Cho Chang and Kingsley Shacklebolt.
Trans activist and gamer Isabelle told PinkNews that her initial reaction was one of shock upon hearing about Sirona Ryan.
“Seriously? ‘Sir’-ona?” she says.
“Then she has a [traditionally male] name for her surname.
“Note that Harry Potter naming conventions are really heavy on the surnames outside the circle of Harry’s direct peers, so this means that if Sirona [was] in other media, she’d be customarily referred to as ‘Ryan’.”
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